City are primed to have a real crack at the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy next season.

The ugly duckling cup competition has been derided in many quarters – and the Bantams were handed a £3,000 fine last year for fielding a “weakened” team against Doncaster, although they insisted that was down to injuries.

But joint-chairman Julian Rhodes believes a run in the tournament is a realistic opportunity to drum up cash by reaching the latter stages.

City’s recent record in all knock-out competitions has been wretched. It is 11 years since they pulled off a famous 3-2 upset win at Everton in the FA Cup with a Chris Waddle wonder goal.

The JP Trophy off-ers the only genuine chance for teams in the basement division and both finalists in the showpiece in March came from League Two.

Rhodes, already confidently eyeing a promotion campaign, reckons there is no reason why City cannot buck the cup trend from the last decade and make an impression themselves.

He said: “The cup competitions have always been seen as something we’re never going to do anything in.

“But you look at MK Dons and the season they had. They not only went up as champions but also won a trophy at Wembley.

“We’ve been a bit unlucky with the draw in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy in the last two seasons. We got knocked out by the League One champions Scunthorpe two years ago and then we got Doncaster, the holders, away last season.

“But next season that’s a tournament we want to do well in and we should have a squad that will be capable of doing that.

“The money received for going all the way to the final can go back into the team and help with the snowball effect we’re looking for to take us back up the divisions.”